Makankry Farmers Suffer Serious Setback
It is crystal clear that the indigenes of Worreh Makankry village in Makarie Gbantie Chiefdom Bombali District are always succumbed to meaningless disadvantages spearheaded against them by not only their close neighbors as a result of the weak judiciary system in the land but they are also neglected and betrayed by their own people for self-aggrandizement.
The inhabitants of the said village have been succumbed to various attacks on several occasions in an attempt to grab the vast area of fertile land they naturally endowed with by people who think they have all what it takes to influence law enforcing bodies within the Police Force and the judiciary.
The landowners in Makankry village started to experience such unreasonable attacks to distract the dedicated farmers from concentrating on their food production activities.
The Fullahs who are cattle rearers came from Guinea and connived with traditional leaders including Paramount Chiefs, Section Chiefs and village Headmen to forcefully settle and occupy their agricultural lands for the purpose overgrazing thereby destroying plantations and exposed the soil to infertility.
The most disheartening part of this piece is that local authorities in the chiefdom often accused of receiving bribe from the Fullah herdsmen to allow them stay without knowledge of majority of the farmers. The Fullahs concentrated in that part of the country to rear their cattle because the land is blessed with green pasture and abundant water to feed their breed of cattle.
On a fateful day last year, the Bombali Magistrate Court in Makeni ruled that the vast area of agricultural land which has been under the control of the Makankry indigenes since the creation of the world belonged to a single person, Issa Kalokoh who is a Gardener at Robarrie village because they don’t have money to allegedly bribe the Court system and local authorities in the district.
The Makankry farmers challenged the ruling for the fact that the local authorities and headmen from across the surrounding villages clearly testified in Court that the land in question which is naturally divided by running water covered with thick forest was rightfully owned by the Makankry farmers but because they don’t believe in palm greasing, the Court ruled against them in favor of a single man.
What is most horrible in the matter, the people of Makankry have not only denied the court ruling but they also vowed to deal with anyone who may attempt to perform any activity within the disputed land without their consent.
Speaking to this medium, the Headman of Worreh Makankry village, Mr. Lamin Kamara said they started experiencing such land conflicts since the emergence of the African Minerals Limited that paid millions of Leones to land owners who were affected by the construction of the rail way line.
Mr. Issa Kalokoh who claimed to be owner of the over two thousand hectares of land received more than three hundred million Leones from AML on behalf of the village community. He therefore wasted no time but to take the poor farmers to Court upon hearing that African Minerals which has been transformed to Shandong Iron Ore Mining Company will soon construct the second phase of the railway line for commercial purpose.
They recalled that the former Chief of Worreh Makankry, Osman Dawoh and son of the late Headman, Gibrilla Kamara also acted against their own people to suit their comfort.
The disgruntled sons and daughters of Worreh Makankry who believed to be the rightful owners of the land in question therefore issued strong warning for Kalokoh and his supporters to hands off from the land to avoid future conflict.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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